By: Colleen Hoover
Published: March 10, 2015 by Atria Books
Source: Personal Kindle Library
(Goodreads / Amazon)
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, a new novel about risking everything for love—and finding your heart somewhere between the truth and lies.MY REVIEW:
Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.
For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.
The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…
I have yet to read a Colleen Hoover book that I didn't thoroughly enjoy. Some have touched me more than others and many of her books have earned 4.5 and 5 stars from me. I'm a BIG fan of her writing - especially the way she writes romance! My first 5 star rating of 2015 went to one of her books, Maybe Someday. So I think it's fair to say that I always expect greatness from her books. And this is one I've been anticipating for a LONG time, especially when she announced the main character girl's name was going to be Auburn. Hello?! Fans of Auburn SEC football love that name without hearing anything else about the book!
I enjoyed the uniqueness of the art interspersed throughout the Kindle copy of this book. I'm not really an avid art fan, but it made a part of this story come alive a little more for me. The painting at the end combined with that last chapter - oh.my.goodness! I definitely teared up then!
Now for the story: it's told between alternating POV's of Auburn and Owen. In trying to figure out what to say without giving away any major plot points, I struggled greatly with writing this review. Because this book review deserved more than my saying "It's really great. Read it." - even though that's basically what I'll tell you at the end. There is so many twists that to give them away too soon will ruin much of the journey and I loathe when others take that experience away from me. So no spoilers will be given here. The basic story is that Auburn has recently moved to Dallas from Portland and is working as a hair dresser. But she needs to bring in a little more money so one evening on her way home she walks past a door that reads 'Confess'. Intrigued by the name on the door she looks more closely and realizes there are pieces of paper taped all over the windows with anonymous confessions written on them. There's a "Help Wanted" sign in the door and whether it's curiosity or fate, Auburn goes inside to find out more information about the job.
Confess is an art studio owned by Owen Gentry and he's desperate for help selling his artwork at the once a month opening, which just happens to be the night Auburn walks by. The connection they form after only a few hours together is very romantic. It shows how we can form connections with people really fast when there's attraction plus a deeper pull, call it soul mates if you want. But boy are there BIG secrets just waiting under the surface to boil over and cause major destruction for both of them. Neither are ready to share their own confessions with the other - and as ya'll know in any great contemporary romance book, those secrets are what drives the plot.
The artwork: Owen accepts anonymous confessions and reads them all. The ones that inspire him to paint he then uses as the title for each piece of artwork. He's extremely talented. (But I have a soft spot for those artsy types...)
Auburn has tough decisions to make all throughout the story. I don't always agree with the decisions she makes but I have to say that I highly respected most of them. Owen too makes sacrifices that most people wouldn't be willing to make. Their story is definitely one to be admired.
I did go back and forth between whether to rate this 4 or 4.5 stars. In the end I went with what my first gut reaction was when I finished. Confess will make you swoon, it'll make you smile, it'll make you cringe, it'll make you laugh, it'll make your heart hurt. It's really excellent! Seriously, if you love New Adult, contemporary romance and Colleen Hoover then you NEED to read this!
"Only you control your reactions," he would say to us. "No one else. You control your anger and you control your happiness."
Selflessness. It should be the basis of every relationship. If a person truly cares about you, they'll get more pleasure from the way they make you feel, rather than the way you make them feel.
I don't feel lost in him at all, because it's the first time I've ever felt like someone truly found me.
She's like a light, unwittingly brightening up the darkest corners of a man's soul.
Language Rating: 2 (medium)
Mature Content Rating: 2 (medium)
Final Rating: 4 stars